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05/10/2018

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The History of National Nurses Week

National Nurses Week begins each year on May 6 and ends on May 12, Florence Nightingale’s birthday. Florence Nightingale was born in Florence, Italy on May 12, 1820. During the Crimean War, she and a team of nurses improved the unsanitary conditions at a British base hospital, reducing the death count by two-thirds. Her writings sparked worldwide healthcare reform.

The nursing profession has been supported and promoted by the American Nurses Association (ANA) since 1896. The ANA supports and encourages National Nurses Week recognition programs through the state and district nurses associations, other specialty nursing organizations, educational facilities, and independent healthcare companies and institutions.

Take a glimpse at how National Nurses Week became a time to pause and celebrate how the profession of nursing has impacted our daily lives.

1953: Dorothy Sutherland of the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare sent a proposal to President Eisenhower to proclaim a “Nurse Day” in October of the following year. The proclamation was never made.

1974: In February of that year, a week was designated by the White House as National Nurse Week, and President Nixon issued a proclamation.

1982: In February, the ANA Board of Directors formally acknowledged May 6, 1982 as “National Nurses Day.” The action affirmed a joint resolution of the United States Congress designating May 6 as “National Recognition Day for Nurses.”

1982: President Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation on March 25, proclaiming “National Recognition Day for Nurses” to be May 6, 1982.

1990: The ANA Board of Directors expanded the recognition of nurses to a week-long celebration, declaring May 6 – 12, 1991, as National Nurses Week.

1993: The ANA Board of Directors designated May 6 – 12 as permanent dates to observe National Nurses Week in 1994 and in all subsequent years.

Join us as we celebrate nurses and the work they do to improve our healthcare. Thank you to the nurses who serve at TeamHealth through nurse triage services at the TeamHealth Medical Call Center. Your dedication and services impact many lives nationwide.

If you are a nurse, we want to celebrate you, and hear why you became a nurse! Visit www.teamhealth.com/nursesday to share your story today. All nurses who submit their story will be entered in a drawing for a $50 gift card!